Indian Premier League (IPL) is the major Twenty20 cricket league in India. Its held every year in May and attracts billions of cricket fans. The league features domestic cricket players from Indian as well as international cricket players. Established in 2008 by BCCI, IPL has emerged one of the best cricket tournaments in the world. Its conduct in the months of Mar-Apr-may where eight teams representing various cities of India compete with each other to win the finals. It’s the first sporting event that broadcasted its matches live on YouTube in 2010.
In the beginning, there was the ICL
IPL traces its strands back to the formation of the Indian Cricket League in 2007. Initially, ICL was considered a rebel element in the cricketing world by BCCI. Neither BCCI nor ICC recognized the league. BCCI became worried about the players joining the ICL, so it increased its prize money in the tournaments and also went a step ahead to impose a lifetime ban on the players joining ICL. Sponsored by Zee Entertainment Enterprises, ICL made a decent debut in the sporting world. Wide enough to come in the eyes of BCCI.
BCCI launched IPL on 13 Sep 2007. BCCI’s Vice president Lalit Modi spelled out the format of the tournament including the prize money and its whole structure. IPL may have seemed a knee-jerk reaction to ICL but according to Modi they had been working on the league for more than two years. The IPL was to be governed by the seven-man governing council. These included former Indian Players and BCCI officials.
When the league was formed, it had to go through regulations and ownerships. In order to decide the new owner, auctions were held and the winners declared. The competing cities were also decided I.e Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mohali, and Mumbai. The franchises were sold for $723.59 million. This marked the birth of IPL in a new form.
Many of the teams were added and various withdraw due to inabilities and differences with the BCCI. Pune Warriors India and Kochi Tuskers Kerala joined the game in 2010 but the latter was terminated due to breach and violation of the BCCI policies in 2011. 2009 Champions Deccan Chargers were terminated in Sept 2012 because they couldn’t find new owners. Deccan was replaced by Sunrisers Hyderabad. Pune warriors withdrew over the financial differences and Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended for two seasons for match-fixing.
Until 2014, the contracts were denominated in U.S dollars but it changed to Indian Rupee in 2014. The term is of one year but can be extended further. The IPL salary is the second-highest in the world (US$4.33 million). The 2019 prize money of IPL was US$7.0 million). Half of the prize money is to be distributed among the players.
IPL is the most popular sports league in the world. The enthusiasm that it produces in India is the same that nurtures all around the world. BCCI is one of the richest Cricket Boards in the world and it regulates the IPL. The cricket league not just produces world-class cricket but prepares and provides new players to international cricket.